For those people who come face to face with the Men in Black, it can be a terrifying experience. And that's the theme of today's article: how the MIB plunge people into states of absolute fear. On September 9, 2014, I was given a story that went back to 1985. It demonstrates that fear perfectly. Like most such reports involving the black-suited "things" which have caught my attention, it was a bizarre one, and one which had significantly traumatized the witness. Only hours after briefly seeing a cigar-shaped UFO hovering near Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England on December 25, 1985, Sandra Green – who was driving home, in the early hours, after a late night Christmas Eve party in the English city of Bath – had a bizarre dream. In it, three Men in Black warned Sandra to keep her nose out of UFOs. They were – as they usually are – cadaverous “slightly dead”-looking MIB. As for the warning, it was one of those “or else”-type threats that the MIB are so skilled at making.
The dream was so graphic it led Sandra to believe that the MIB had the ability to literally get inside her dreams, manipulate those very same dreams, and issue a bone-chilling warning – one which she has still not forgotten. Sandra shared the story with me on the evening of September 9, 2014 – the facts of the affair still firmly fixed in her mind and her memory after close to thirty years. And, I have to say, it wasn’t just the facts that were fixed in Sandra’s mind: it was cold fear, too. Even across a transatlantic telephone call I could sense that all was not well. I messaged Sandra a few days later, in an effort to clarify a couple of things she mentioned to me. She did not reply. She still hasn’t. A sign of something? I hoped not.
The Hat Man is a Man in Black-type being that appears in shadowy form; not unlike the infamous Shadow People – to whom the Hat Man is almost certainly related, even if we’re not sure why. On many occasions, however, the Hat Man appears in regular, human form, with a black beard and a black suit, and wearing a long overcoat or a cloak –always black, too. I know this, as I have investigated many such affairs. Most noticeable about this creepy figure is, of course, his hat. Sometimes, it’s a fedora, other times it’s an old style top hat. Occasionally, it’s more like a cowboy hat. But, regardless of the kind of headgear, it’s always present and always black. Many of the encounters occur while the victim is in a distinct altered state – that of sleeping.
Angie had just such an encounter in Leominster, Massachusetts, on September 6, 1994, as she told me late on the evening of October 8, 2014. Her reason for contacting me was due to the fact that, quite out of the blue, she had suddenly begun to dream of the events of twenty years earlier – and dream of them almost every night for the last couple of weeks. Very much like those people unfortunate enough to be confronted by the somewhat similar Slenderman – the ultimate Internet meme come to life in Tulpa form - Angie was sleeping when the mysterious thing disturbed her sleep by manifesting in her bedroom and staring at her with a menacing grin on its pale, ghoulish face. For a few moments, Angie was unable to move. As she finally broke the spell of paralysis, however, the Hat Man was gone. I was hardly surprised when Angie added that, as a result of the new dreams, she now feared a return visit from the man in the hat. I tried to stay on the positive side of things and told Angie to try and dismiss such worries from her mind. But, to this day it would not surprise me if Angie gets that second, feared encounter, as my words really did not seem to comfort her, even when we chatted again, some weeks later on.
The Marshall family of Perth, Australia had a strange encounter after seeing a huge, black, triangular shaped UFO flying completely silently, and at a dangerously low level, as they headed home after a night out on June 3, 1999. Although they did not tell anyone about their experience (at least, not at the time, anyway), late on the following night the phone rang. It was a man with a strange and somewhat European accent who warned them not to talk about the craft they had seen. In this case, the family forgot about the experience until years later when they saw a TV documentary on the Men in Black enigma - which referenced the issue of the MIB making threatening phone calls to UFO witnesses. Today, the family is solidly convinced that what they experienced was full-blown intimidation from a menacing MIB. I had to agree, when I read the facts, which came to me through Facebook on November 9. It was yet another chilling affair to add to my files. Now, onto another case:
In 1987, the Maxwell family spent a week vacationing in and around San Francisco, staying with friends in Menlo Park. On their way back home, they traveled along California’s famous Highway 101, which provides a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean, and for mile upon mile. They chose to drive through the night, when the highway would be at its least busy, thinking that it would be to their benefit to do so. How completely and utterly wrong they were. As fate would destine to have it, after a couple of hours of driving, the family of four spotted a strange light in the sky. It was described as a bright green ball of light, about the size of a beach-ball, one which paced their car and that stayed with them for a couple of miles, at a height of around sixty feet. There was nothing frightening about the encounter. Rather, they were all amazed and excited. It wasn’t long, however, before things got very disturbing.
The day after the Maxwell family got home was a Sunday, meaning they had an extra day before returning to work and school. It was while one of the teenaged children was sat on the porch and playing music on an old Walkman that she caught sight of a man on the other side of the road. He was dressed completely in black, aside from a white shirt. He even wore black gloves, on what was a bright, summery day. The girl was particularly disturbed by the fact that the man sported a weird grin and was staring right at her. So unsettled was she that she went back into the home and told her father of what had just happened. He quickly went to the door but – no surprise – the MIB was gone. When Mr. Maxwell told the story to me, the anxiety in his voice was as clear as it was eerie to hear. I have seen and heard that kind of anxiety so many times. Too many times, I would suggest. And, regardless of the particular location, almost always in relation to the Men in Black.
Pasadena, California was the site of a strange encounter with a definitive Man in Black, specifically on March 22 1979. The witness, Charlie H., contacted me years later to share his story, after I spoke on the MIB enigma on a local, Texas radio show. Charlie, now living in the Lone Star State, had seen a UFO as he drove near to what is known locally as Devil Gate Dam. It’s a place with a great deal of paranormal activity attached to it and at which Jack Parsons, a 1930s rocket-pioneer and a devotee of “the great beast” Aleister Crowley, hung out on a regular basis. The UFO, said Charlie, was not particularly large, and was circular and bright pink in color. Charlie, who was driving home from a shift which ended at 2:00 a.m., added that the UFO came close to his car – around eighty or ninety feet away – then shot away into the sky. Two days later, and as he happened to look out of his living-room window, Charlie saw a man dressed in a black fedora, black suit, black trench-coat, white shirt, and black tie, get out of an old, black Cadillac and quickly take a photo of his home. The MIB then got back into the vehicle and drove away. John Keel termed this particular brand of MIB as “phantom photographers.” A most apt term, to be sure. I shared my thoughts and opinions as we chatted and thanked Charlie for his call.
Time and again I hear stories of the Men in Black and the Women in Black. On February 1, 2015, however, Marc encountered in California woods a child in black. Not a Black-Eyed Child of the type diligently pursued by BEC expert David Weatherly, I should stress, but a pale-faced boy attired in black pants, black t-shirt, and a black hoody. The Child in Black turned up while Marc was hunting, and just a few hours after he encountered a globe-like UFO over his tent, at a height of around eighty or ninety feet. According to Marc, who reached me by Facebook, the boy in black appeared out of nowhere, laughing in an odd and hair-raising fashion, and then suddenly vanishing into nothingness. I was not at all surprised when Marc told me he didn’t stay in the woods for much longer: he was soon gone.
One of the people whose MIB experiences feature in my 2015 Men in Black book is a friend of mine, Steve Ray. After reading the book, and just a few days after it was published, Steve experienced something unusual. In his very own words to me: “I read the whole Kindle version of the book Sunday and Monday. Monday night I came home and found two black cars parked – headlights out – in non-assigned spaces directly facing my assigned parking space. When I came upstairs, I found my living-room lamp had been switched from its normal setting to the spookier black-light setting – which I have no memory of doing, and I was the last one here.” I told Steve I was not surprised. He was not comforted by my words; not at all. He wasn’t meant to be. I tell it as it is: good, bad, or worse still.
Alissa Plakaros is a friend who I see at conferences, now and again – and most recently at the September 2016 Mothman Festival. On January 30, 2017, Alissa contacted me to say that she had just undergone a strange MIB-themed encounter in the Florida town of Mims. Well, I had to follow-up on that! Two days later I caught up with Alissa by phone. She told me: “It was Monday. This was in town; we had gone to a store. Me and mom were joking, as we saw this guy who looked like a Man in Black. He had the black suit on and was very well-dressed, with sunglasses. His face was pale, like super-white. He threw me, as he walked back to his car – which was a newer car and black - and was looking at me when I said to mom he looked like a Man in Black. He wasn’t close to me, but it was weird; like he could hear what I was saying about him being a Man in Black. When I said that he turned and looked at me.” Alissa then proceeded to tell me something very interesting. On the night of the encounter with the pale-faced MIB, she had a UFO sighting: a cluster of lights in the sky which, said Alissa, “were changing to all different colors – blue and red - and moving really fast.”
What all of these accounts tell us is that the Men in Black are everywhere. And, just about everyone who encounters the MIB find themselves in states of fear - and they never forget their eerie experiences. So, should you have such an encounter, beware.